I’ve railed against fluoride in our water, in large part because workers at the filtration plant shouldn’t be exposed to it, and the $350,000 price tag attached to system upgrades is too much when one considers that most of the additives in the water end up right back in the St. Lawrence River before passing through our bodies.
The way council intends to vote on this issue is becoming clearer as time unfolds – and those of us against water fluoridation had best be prepared for disappointment.
Based on the comments made Monday night, it’s fair to suggest Councillors Andre Rivette, Elaine MacDonald, Denis Carr and perhaps even Bernadette Clement are in favour putting fluoride back. Clement wasn’t nearly as passionate as some of her other colleagues, but the way she was talking Monday night it’s fair to suggest she’s leaning towards fluoride.
On the flipside are Councillors Claude McIntosh, David Murphy, Justin Towndale and Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy who are against the practice.
Undecideds/unknowns include Councillors Maurice Dupelle, Carilyne Hebert and Mark MacDonald.
But based on the scuttlebutt I am hearing from city hall, it’s likely those on the fence will vote fluoride – though I hope they don’t.
I floated the idea a couple of weeks ago of going the route of a referendum at the next municipal election, but there’s not enough support around the council table for such a move – which means sometime next month, likely the first meeting of May, councillors will vote to finally put this issue to rest.
Towndale is now on an extended leave for the next three months while he trains to become a member of the Canadian Forces, so consider that a lost vote on the ‘no’ side and an even tougher chore for those against fluoride.
WHERE’S THE UNION?: The union representing employees at the water filtration plant had requested time before council to lay out their objections to fluoridation. Union members are especially fearful of the hydrofluorosilicic acid that is added to our water to create fluoride.
The acid is extremely toxic and has left scars on the concrete at the filtration plant where it has, on occasion, accidentally spilled.
The union was told it would not be allowed to address council – likely because the city wants to avoid setting a precedent that would allow other employee groups to make similar pleas if they feel slighted.
It says here if the union is serious about this, then members need to take their message to the people. Protests and information sessions need to be organized.
And while we’re on the subject of unions and employees, it surprises me that more councillors with an NDP affiliation aren’t stepping up to protect those workers by voting against fluoride.